Canine Behavioral Genetics Project

The Canine Behavioral Genetics Project is a collaboration between Dr. Steven Hamilton of the University of California, San Francisco and Dr. Karen Overall of the University of Pennsylvania. They are seeking the participation of Welsh Springer breeders and owners in the collection of DNA samples to explore the relationship between genes and behavior in dogs.

Behaviors specifically being researched are noise phobia, anxiety, panic, obsessive compulsive disorder, and aggression. Collecting samples from the Welsh Springer is of great value because Welsh Springers generally do not display these types of behaviors which makes them valuable as control subjects for comparison with affected dogs.

Additionally, they are hoping to learn about behaviors that are prevalent in particular breeds which they may not be currently aware and are also interested in researching the general genetic diversity within and between breeds.

Participation in the study involves:
      a. Collecting DNA samples using cheek swabs.
      b. Completion of a questionnaire about the dog's general history, behavior, and environment.
      c. A copy of the dogs pedigree, if one is available, would also be very useful.

Ordering DNA kits:
      a. Kits can also be requested directly through the University of California, San Francisco web site at

      b. Completed collections should be mailed directly to the University of California, San Francisco in the supplied return envelope.

All information provided will be held strictly confidential.
      a. Names or contact information of owners, breeders, dogs or kennels will never be published or shared.

Report of findings:
      a. If there is sufficient participation breed specific reports will be available through the University of California, San Francisco web site in approximately one year.

More information about this research:
      a. Additional information can be obtained through the above web site, through email at, or by phone at (415) 476-7898